The sketchbook Rivera made during his 1927-28 trip to Moscow reflects both the thrilling pageantry of the mass celebrations staged for the tenth anniversary of the Russian Revolution and more quotidian details of Soviet life. Beginning with a series of domestic scenes, Rivera's drawings follow a family as it prepares for the day's festivities. Outside the home, they focus on the spectacle of the events—colorful banners, posters, and floats—and capture the city's famous landmarks, including Lenin's tomb and St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square. Rivera's principal interest, though, was the crowd: men and women, children and the elderly, and soldiers and civilians move through the street en masse. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller later bought Rivera's sketchbook for an impressive $2,500, helping to fund his trip to New York in November 1931 for his exhibition at MoMA. She donated it to the Museum in 1935.
Gallery label from Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art, November 13, 2011-May 14, 2012.